Mo Williams’ 11th-hour decision to retire deprives the Cavaliers of a backup point guard option, but it didn’t exactly catch the defending NBA champions off guard. David Griffin and Co. have been monitoring three veterans this offseason just in case Williams decided to retire after having gone back and forth on that notion.
The Cavs have engaged in discussions with Kirk Hinrich, Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole, Joe Vardon of cleveland.com reports, but Griffin notes the team is not in a rush to sign any of the trio despite the lack of veteran depth behind Kyrie Irving.
“We feel very comfortable with where we are at the point guard position, the versatility that we have to absorb that,” Griffin said at Cavs media day Monday. “We have other people that can guard the position. Because of LeBron [James], we have additional people that can also play the position offensively, and frankly we’re really excited about finding out what some of the younger players on our roster can do.”
Cleveland lost three-year backup Matthew Dellavedova when Milwaukee poached him in restricted free agency and then bought its way into the draft to select small-school prospect Kay Felder. He, Jordan McRae and camp addition Markel Brown represent the depth behind Irving.
Being well over the $94 million salary cap, the Cavs can’t offer anything more than the veteran minimum. James, of course, played with Chalmers and Cole in Miami. Hinrich has 13 seasons of service time and played with recently acquired Mike Dunleavy in Chicago for several seasons.
A Cleveland State alum, Cole left Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports Group, complicating his return path to Ohio potentially, Vardon notes. He collected two rings with the Heat in 2012 and 2013 and scored a career-best 10.6 points per game with the Pelicans last year. Chalmers is now 30 and coming off a torn Achilles’ tendon suffered in Memphis last year. Hinrich didn’t have the same type of role in Atlanta as he did in Chicago but doesn’t have a championship ring or a Finals appearance like the younger free agents do.